|FCS Season Preview: Southern Conference|
B.J. Coleman transfered from Tennessee to play for UTC last offseason.
|For 13 seasons, Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., was a mainstay in the Football Championship Subdivision.|
The stadium had been a showcase of the pinnacle of FCS success. As host city of the FCS championship game from 1997-2009, Chattanooga was at the epicenter of FCS relevance. In turn, regardless of the fate of the hometown Chattanooga Mocs, college football remained relevant to Chattanoogans.
The FCS title game proved to be a godsend to Chattanoogans because UTC's football program hasn't been relevant on the FCS scene in quite some time. In fact, Chattanooga never qualified for postseason play in the 13 years that its stadium played host to the FCS title game. The team has made the FCS playoffs only once, in 1984 when the championship was held in Charleston, S.C. The Mocs fell in the first round.
With the announcement in February of the move of the championship game to Frisco, Texas, FCS football relevance in Chattanooga threatened to dissapear with the game.
To be fair, interest appeared to be dwindling before the move. One element discussed during the NCAA's championship selection process was attendance. In 2007, the title game between Appalachian State and Delaware drew 23,000 fans to Chattanooga. In the last two years, however, the game has drawn 17,823 and 14,328, respectively.
While it may appear from an outside perspective that the state of FCS football in Chattanooga is on the ropes, a certain "irrelevant" home team is drumming up interst and optimism. It seems relevance may prevail.
The state of Chattanooga Mocs football is one of optimistic anticipation these days. Rolling off a six-win 2009 campaign, the team appears poised to compound their success in 2010.
Last season, under new head coach Russ Huesman, Chattanooga improved from 1-11 to 6-5, marking its first winning season since 2005. The team also went 4-4 in the Southern Conference, its best finish since 1998.
QB- Scott Riddle, Elon
RB- Devon Moore, Appalachian State
RB- Chris Evans, Samford
OL- Brett Irvin, Appalachian State
OL- Pat Mills, Appalachian State
OL- Thomas Gray, Samford
OL- Chris Harr, Chattanooga
OL- Pat Illig, Wofford
TE- Ben Jorden, Appalachian State
WR- Adam Mims, Furman
WR- Brian Quick, Appalachian State
DL- Jabari Fletcher, Appalachian State
DL- Lanston Tanyi, Appalachian State
DL- Brandon Ward, Elon
DL- Brent Russell, Georgia Southern
LB- D.J. Smith, Appalachian State
LB- Bryce Smith, Samford
LB- Kadarron Anderson, Furman
DB- Mark LeGree, Appalachian State
DB- Cortez Allen, The Citadel
DB- Buster Skrine, Chattanooga
DB- Mitchell Bell, Western Carolina
PK- Jason Vitaris, Appalachian State
P- Bob Hooper, Samford
RS- Adam Mims, Furman
For Huesman, winning as a Chattanooga Moc is nothing new. A graduate of UTC in 1983, Huesman won two SoCon titles as a defensive back. For his efforts last season, Huesman was acknowledged as the Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
Huesman has breathed new life into UTC football, and the collective pulse around Chattanooga is now beating for second-year starting quarterback B.J. Coleman.
Last offseason, after the hire of Huesman, Mocs football was given an additional shot in the arm when Coleman agreed to transfer from Tennessee and return to his hometown to play for UTC.
Coleman had seen limited action at Tennessee. He redshirted in 2007 and playedin three games in 2008, completing 4 of 8 passes for 21 yards in a 20-10 win against Vanderbilt.
Coming out of Chattanooga's McCallie School, Coleman was rated the No. 16 overall quarterback prospect by Scout.com. Expectations were markedly above average as the 2009 season rolled around.
In the home opener against NAIA power Glenville State, the Mocs drew 14,000 fans to Finley Stadium. Coleman did not dissapoint. On the season, he threw for 2,348 yards and 17 touchdown passes.
Entering his junior year in 2010, Coleman is only expected to improve. As evidence, SoCon coaches selected Coleman as the second-team preseason All- SoCon quarterback.
"I think at quarterback we have one of the better ones in the league," Huesman said. "He is always trying to get better and I think he brings people along with him. He shows great leadership and I expect him to have a great year."
Coleman proved his leadership mettle during the summer, organizing the team's voluntary workouts while also acting as the player-coach.
In the fall, Coleman will rise up the Mocs' record books, as he needs just three more touchdown passes to crack the top eight and just 361 passing yards to crack the all-time top 10.
Of more relevance to football fans than records, though, is winning. Last season, Coleman and Huesman provided just that and the fans responded. Home attendance doubled in 2009, rising to an average of 10,000 fans per game for the first time since 1997.
The team appears poised for another successful season in 2010. The rise of the Mocs came at just the right moment and it appears that the loss of the FCS championship game may not be as devastating as it once appeared. For now, FCS relevance prevails in Chattanooga.
The Sports Network's Predicted Order of Finish:
1. Appalachian State
7. Georgia Southern
8. The Citadel
9. Western Carolina
Offensive Player of the Year: Scott Riddle, QB, Elon
Defensive Player of the Year: Bryce Smith, LB, Samford
1. APPALACHIAN STATE MOUNTAINEERS (11-3 overall; 8-0 SoCon)
COACH: Jerry Moore (189-76 in 21 seasons at Appalachian State; 216-123-2 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (9 offense/7 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: RB Devon Moore, Sr. (256 rushes, 1,374 yards, 19 TDs)
DEFENSIVE STAR: FS Mark LeGree, Sr. (70 TT, 7 INTs, 6 PBU, 13 PD)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB DeAndre Presley, Jr. (7 of 15, 89 yards)
QB Jamal Jackson, R-Fr.
RB Devon Moore, Sr. (256 rushes, 1,374 yards, 19 TDs)
RB Rob Chisholm, So. (21 rushes, 133 yards, 6.3 ypc)
RB Cedric Baker, Jr. (45 rushes, 233 yards, 1 TD)
WR Travaris Cadet, Jr. (70 rushes, 366 yards, 3 TDs; 20 of 36, 241 yards)
WR CoCo Hilary, Sr. (37 catches, 514 yards, 4 TDs)
WR Brian Quick, Jr. (61 982 yards, 4 TDs)
WR Matt Cline, Sr. (85 catches, 981 yards, 2 TDs)
TE Ben Jorden, Jr. (16 catches, 226 yards, 1 TDs)
C Brett Irvin, Sr.
OL Patt Mills, Sr.
DE Jabari Fletcher, Sr. (63 TT, 10.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks)
DE Lanston Tanyi, Jr. (75 TT, 11 TFL, 7.5 sacks)
LB DJ Smith, Sr. (137 TT, 14.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT)
LB Brandon Grier, So. (10 TT)
CB Ed Gainey, Jr. (61 TT, 4 INT, 14 PD)
K Jason Vitaris, Sr. (19-28 FG)
OUTLOOK: What will the loss of Armanti Edwards mean to Appalachian State? Replacing the two-time Walter Payton Award winner will prove challenging, but Appalachian has the horses to recover and prosper in 2010. Two players, junior DeAndre Presley and freshman Jamal Jackson, are competing for the starting quarterback role. Presley has proven to have the required athleticism, but he needs to develop as a passer. Jackson, though young, has been compared to former standout quarterback Richie Williams. Returning at running back is Walter Payton Award (sponsored by Fathead.com) nominee Devon Moore. Whoever earns the starting quarterback position will have plenty of outlets, as top wide receivers Matt Cline, Brian Quick, and CoCo Hilary all return, as well as tight end Ben Jorden. The defense is highlighted by three Buck Buchanan Award (sponsored by Fathead.com) nominees in defensive end Jabari Fletcher, linebacker D.J. Smith and free safety Marc LeGree. LeGree led the SoCon in 2009 with seven interceptions. Appalachian has seven players on The Sports Network's Preseason All-American team. The returning firepower will prove vital to overcoming Edwards' departure.
2. ELON PHOENIX (9-3 overall; 7-1 SoCon)
COACH: Pete Lembo (29-17 in four seasons at Elon; 73-28 overall)
STARTER RETURNING: 13 (7 offense/6 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: QB Scott Riddle, Sr. (285 of 439, 3,345 yards, 23 TDs)
DEFENSIVE STAR: LB Joshua Jones, Jr. (89 TT, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FF)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
RB Jamal Shuman, Jr. (133 rushes, 677 yards, 3 TD; 17 catches, 147 yards)
RB A.J. Harris, Jr. (109 rushes, 474 yards, 2 TDs; 28 catches, 268 yards, 1 TD)
RB Brandon Newsome, Sr. (105 rushes, 486 yards, 7 TDs; 12 catches, 117 yards)
WR Lance Camp, Sr. (45 catches, 585 yards)
WR Sean Jeffcoat, Sr. (27 catches, 366 yards, 3 TDs)
WR Christian Dennis, Jr. (transfer, Hofstra)
DE Brandon Ward, Sr. (42 TT, 10 TFL, 5.5 sacks)
DL David Hunt, Sr. (16 TT, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks)
CB Terrell Wilson, Sr. (37 TT, 3 TFL, 3 INTs)
K Adam Shreiner, So. (17-23 FGs)
OUTLOOK: Last year, Elon finished No. 2 in the SoCon in total offense. The primary threat in the attack: Scott Riddle to Terrell Hudgins. This year, the tandem is no longer intact, as Hudgins departed to the NFL. Riddle is still a threat in his own right and will look to earn first-team All-SoCon honors with Edwards departing from Appalachian State. Besides Hudgins, many of the team's top receivers return, but none rival his production. Hudgins scored 16 touchdowns in 2009; Sean Jeffcoat, the wide receiver with the second- highest touchdown total, scored three. The defense returns six starters, but lost last season's sack leader, Andre Cambell. Brandon Ward, a preseason first-team All-SoCon selection, will look to replace Cambell's production. If Elon finds ample replacements for Hudgins, Riddle should lead the team to another FCS playoff berth.
3. FURMAN PALADINS (6-5 overall; 5-3 SoCon)
COACH: Bobby Lamb (62-34 in eight seasons at Furman; 62-34 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 12 (6 offense/6 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: WR Adam Mimms, Sr. (74 catches, 878 yards, 4 TDs)
DEFENSIVE STAR: LB Kadarron Anderson, Jr. (123 TT, 6 TFL)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Chris Forcier, Jr. (4 of 9, 96 yards, 1 TD; 23 rushes, 123 yards, 1 TD)
RB Tersoo Uhaa, Jr. (130 rushes, 535 yards, 13 TDs)
RB Jerry Williams, So. (92 rushes, 483 yards, 3 TD)
RB Mike Brown, Sr. (25 rushes, 119 yards)
WR Sederrick Cunningham, Jr. (27 catches, 327 yards, 1 TD)
WR David Hendrix, Jr. (21 catches, 370 yards, 2 TDs)
OL Ryan Lee, Jr. DL Josh Lynn, So. (25 TT)
LB Matt Solomon, So. (24 TT, 1 sack)
LB Chris Wiley, Jr. (71 TT, 6.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT)
FS Nathan Wade, So. (77 TT, 1 INT, 4 PD)
ROV Max Lerner, Sr. (60 TT, 2 INT)
CB Ryan Steed, Jr. (4 INT)
CB Jordan Griffin, Jr. (48 TT)
OUTLOOK: This year, former UCLA transfer Chris Forcier will start under center, replacing the departed Jordan Sorrells. Forcier will have a reliable target in preseason first-team All-SoCon selection Adam Mims. Furman also returns second-team All-SoCon pick Tersoo Uhaa, who scored 13 touchdowns last year. The defense returns its top three tacklers in linebacker Kadarron Anderson, safety Nathan Wade and linebacker Chris Wiley. Given its struggles in 2009, attention will be paid to these three and the defensive unit as a whole. Last year marked the third consecutive year that Furman missed the playoffs. Despite a tough road schedule, the team may struggle to end that streak.
4. CHATTANOOGA MOCS (6-5 overall; 4-4 SoCon)
COACH: Russ Huesman (6-5 in one season at Chattanooga; 6-5 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (9 offense/7 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: QB B.J. Coleman, Jr. (227 of 401, 2,348 yards, 17 TDs)
DEFENSIVE STAR: LB Ryan Consiglio, Jr. (86 TT, 9 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
RB Erroll Wynn, Sr. (DNP RS)
RB Chris Awuah, So. (153 rushes, 459 yards, 4 TD)
RB Bryan Fitzgerald, Sr. (65 rushes, 342 yards, 2 TD)
RB J.J. Jackson, So. (11 rushes, 46 yards)
RB Keon Williams, Fr.
WR Chris Pitchford, Sr. (44 catches, 528 yards, 5 TD)
TE Garrett Hughes, Sr. (17 catches, 244 yards, 1 TD)
OL Chris Harr, Sr.
OL T.J. Hurless, Sr.
OL Justin Gaylon, Sr.
DL Joshua Williams, So. (31 TT, 9.5 TFL, 7 sacks)
DL Nick Craig, Jr. (31 TT, 2.5 sacks)
DL Nick Davison, Jr. (transfer, UAB)
DL Chris Donald, Jr, (transfer, Tennessee)
DB Buster Skrine, Sr. (45 TT, 2 INTs, 10 PD)
DB Chris Lewis-Harris, Jr. (33 TT, 7 PD)
S Jordan Tippit, Jr. (60 TT, 5 INTs)
P Mike Hammons, Jr. (40.1 avg.)
OUTLOOK: Chattanooga took a considerable jump last season, improving from 1-11 in 2008 to 6-5 under first-year head coach Russ Huesman. Huesman's inaugural season was eased by the addition of Tennessee transfer B.J. Coleman. Under Coleman, the offense jumped from No. 9 to 7 in the SoCon. The unit should take another leap this year as Coleman returns along with 2009's entire starting offensive line. Over the last four games last season, the line did not allow a sack. The defense is highlighted by linebacker Ryan Consiglio and cornerback Buster Skrine, both of whom are preseason All-SoCon selections. Overall the defense returns seven starters, but loses three of its top four tacklers and sack leader Josh Beard. Still, expectations for this team are high. Look for the Mocs to deliver in 2010.
5. SAMFORD BULLDOGS (5-6 overall; 3-5 SoCon)
COACH: Pat Sullivan (15-18 in three seasons at Samford; 39-60-1 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 15 (8 offense/7 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: RB Chris Evans, Sr. (241 rushes, 1,152 yards, 7 TDs; 38 catches, 172 yards)
DEFENSIVE STAR: LB Bryce Smith, Sr. (102 TT, 11 TFL, 4 INTs)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Dustin Taliaferro, Jr. (190 of 321, 1,691 yards, 9 TD; 5 rushing TDs)
RB Alex Barnett, Sr. (41 rushes, 133 yards, 1 TD; 14 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD)
WR Riley Hawkins, Jr. (34 catches, 638 yards, 4 TD)
WR DeMarcus Covington, Sr. (24 catches, 211 yards, 1 TD)
WR Richie Fordham, Jr. (18 catches, 106 yards, 3 TD)
OL Thomas Gray, Sr.
DL John Michael Clay, Sr. (37 TT, 5 TFL, 6 sacks)
DL Jason Gaines, Sr. (22 TT, 1.5 sacks)
DL Patrick Hatcher, Sr. (20 TT, 3.5 sacks)
S Thomas Broussard, Sr. (47 TT, 4.5 TFL)
DB Jamael Lett, Sr. (31 TT, 3 PBU)
P Bob Hooper, Sr. (35 NET)
OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs' 2010 season will mark their third year in the SoCon. After tallying a 4-4 conference record in 2008, Samford slipped to 3-5 in 2009. The dropoff was somewhat surprising as they returned 2008 SoCon Freshman of the Year quarterback Dustin Taliaferro and perrenial 1,000-yard rusher Chris Evans. Also, the defense finished second overall in the SoCon, but the offense finished sixth. The offense should improve this season, as Samford again returns Taliaferro and Evans, along with second-team preseason All-SoCon selection Riley Hawkins at wide receiver. The defense, again anchored by 2010 preseason SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Bryce Smith at linebacker, should remain strong. Samford will likey get above .500 football in 2010.
6. WOFFORD TERRIERS (3-8 overall; 2-6 SoCon)
COACH: Mike Ayers (144-104-1 in 22 seasons at Wofford; 155-125-2 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 17 (9 offense/8 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: RB Mike Rucker, Sr. (87 rushes, 602 yards, 6 TDs; 25 kick returns, 526 yards, 21 avg.)
DEFENSIVE STAR: LB Keaton Thompson, Sr. (69 TT, 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Mitch Allen, Jr. (34 of 78, 605 yards, 7 TDs; 136 rushes, 633 yards, 6 TDs)
FB Michael Scott, Jr. (104 rushes, 576 yards, 3 TDs)
FB Arsenio Parks, Jr. (43 rushes, 194 yards)
RB Jeremy Marshall, Sr. (DNP INJ.)
RB Eric Breitenstein, Jr. (28 rushes, 187 yards, 3 TDs)
WR Brenton Bersin, Jr. (15 catches, 356 yards, 4 TD)
WR Devin Reed, Sr. (9 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs)
OL Clark Bishop, Sr. OL Pat Illig, Sr.
DL Ameet Pall, Jr. (29 TT, 8 TFL, 4 sacks)
DL Eric Eberhardt, Jr. (32 TT, 5 TFL)
LB SeQuan Stanley, So. (55 TT, 5.5 TFL, 2 sacks)
LB Anthony Carden, So. (34 TT)
LB Mike Niam, Jr. (23 TT)
S Tommy Irvin, Sr. (74 TT, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT)
DB Blake Wylie, So. (37 TT, 5 PBU)
DB Kendall Bratcher, Jr. (32 TT, 3 PBU)
OUTLOOK: Wofford is poised for a turnaround in 2010. After going 9-3 in 2008, the team was struck by a series of injuries and finished 2009 at 3-8. In all, Wofford lost 11 players to season-ending injuries (six offense and five on defense).This year, the roster is strong, as 17 starters return. Four of those starters are offensive lineman, which should bolster Wofford's run-heavy wingbone attack. Quarterback Mitch Allen and running back Mike Rucker, the team's top-two rushers from 2009, also return. The defense has three players featured on the preseason All-SoCon team in lineman Ameet Pall and Eric Eberhardt and linebacker Mike Niam. Niam missed all but three games in 2009 with a torn ACL. Also returning are leading tacklers Tommy Irvin and Keaton Thompson. During its succesful 2008 campaign, Wofford was plus-11 in turnovers; in 2009 it was minus-10. The team should benefit from its experience in 2010, reduce turnovers and see its record improve.
7. GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES (5-6 overall; 4-4 SoCon)
COACH: Jeff Monken (first year at Georgia Southern; 0-0 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 11 (5 offense/6 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: SLOT Darreion Robinson, So. (62 rushes, 266 yards, 1 TD)
DEFENSIVE STAR: DE Brent Russell, So. (48 TT, 11 TFL, 6 sacks)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Jaybo Shaw, Jr. (transfer, Georgia Tech)
FB Zeke Rozier, Jr. (15 rushes, 34 yards)
SLOT Alex Ford, Fr.
WR Patrick Barker, So. (40 catches, 255 yards, 1 TD)
WR Mitch Williford, So. (29 catches, 230 yards, 1 TD)
OL Ryan Byrne, So. (transfer, Western Michigan)
DE Dion DuBose, Jr. (85 TT, 8 TFL)
DE Roderick Tinsley, Jr. (13 TT, 3 TFL, 1 sack)
LB Darius Eubanks, So. (58 TT, 4 TFL, 1 sack)
DB Laron Scott, Jr. (57 TT, 3 INTs)
LB K.R. Snipes, Jr. (56 TT, 2 TFL)
S Derek Heyden, Jr. (55 TT)
OUTLOOK: This is a rebuilding year for Georgia Southern. New head coach Jeff Monken will implement the option offense, which has led to personnel shake- ups. Last year's starting quarterback Lee Chapple and leading wide receiver Jamere Valentine were amongst the players who left due to the change. Georgia Southern does add Georgia Tech transfer Jaybo Shaw, however, which should settle the quarterback position during the beginning of the rebuilding process. Still, the offense will be a work-in-progress. The defense looks to be a bit more stable as it returns its top eight tacklers from last year. Defensive end Brent Russell was named first-team preseason All-SoCon, and defensive back Laron Scott was named to the second team. The unit finished last in the SoCon in total defense in 2009, but should improve this year. Still, it may take a couple of years for the team as a whole to come together.
8. THE CITADEL BULLDOGS (3-8 overall; 2-6 SoCon)
COACH: Kevin Higgins (24-32 in five seasons at The Citadel; 80-57-1 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 13 (7 offense/6 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: TE Alex Sellars, Sr. (16 catches, 159 yards, 6 TDs)
DEFENSIVE STAR: CB Cortez Allen, Sr. (57 TT, 3 INT, 8 PD)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Luke Caldwell, Jr. (2 of 2, 37 yards; 11 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD)
QB Blane Woodfin, So. (transfer, Montana State)
RB Van Dyke Jones, So. (81 rushes, 420 yards, 2 TDs)
FB Terrell Dallas, Jr. (94 rushes, 357 yards, 5 TDs)
WR Kevin Hardy, Jr. (14 catches, 151 yards, 1 TD)
DL Chris Billingslea, So. (29 TT, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT)
DL Erik Clanton, Sr. (20 TT, 2 TFL, 1 INT)
LB Tolu Akindele, Jr. (55 TT, 3.5 TFL)
LB Jeremy Buncum, Jr. (52 TT, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT)
DB Demontrelle Smith, Jr. (30 TT, 2 PD)
S Rod Harland, Jr. (56 TT, 4.5 TFL)
S Demetrius Jackson, Sr. (50 TT, 3 PD)
OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs lost all three quarterbacks who took a snap last seaon. They also will be running the triple option as opposed to the spread option this year. These changes do not indicate an improvement over last season's 4-7 record. Wide receiver Luke Caldwell will attempt to make the difficult transition to quarterback. Van Dyke Jones and Terrell Dallas return at running back, with former wide receiver Scott Hayward and former linebacker Ryan Keiper being added to the position. Tight end Alex Sellars, a second-team preseason All-SoCon selection, may see his production drop in the new run- heavy system. The defense has a new coordinator in former Wofford secondary and special teams coach Josh Conklin. He has some talent to work with in potential NFL prospect Cortez Allen at cornerback. Demontrelle Smith also may prove to be a standout in the secondary. The Bulldogs lost four games by less than seven points last season, including a three-point overtime loss to Appalachian State, but personnel and system changes indicate a slip in 2010.
9. WESTERN CAROLINA CATAMOUNTS (2-9 overall; 1-7 SoCon)
COACH: Dennis Wagner (5-18 in two seasons at Western Carolina; 49-55-1 overall)
STARTERS RETURNING: 13 (8 offense/5 defense)
OFFENSIVE STAR: RB Michael Johnson, So. (150 rushes, 568 yards, 4 TD; 25 catches, 137 yards)
DEFENSIVE STAR: DB Mitchell Bell, Sr. (67 TT, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 5 PBU)
OTHER KEY PLAYERS:
QB Zach Jaynes, Jr. (178 of 304, 1,790 yards, 9 TDs)
FB Dion Wilson, So. (40 rushes, 176 yards, 5 TD)
WR Marquel Pittman, Sr. (50 catches, 619 yards, 5 TD)
WR Jacoby Mitchell, So. (20 catches, 158 yards)
WR Deja Alexander, Fr. (transfer, Central Michigan)
TE Chris Everett, Jr. (9 catches, 152 yards, 3 TDs)
DT Charles Johnson, Sr. (19 TT, 5.5 TFL)
LB Ricky Schwartz, Jr. (67 TT, 3 TFL)
DB Angelo Brown, Sr. (56 TT, 7.5 TFL, 3 sacks)
DB Jaron McNeill, Sr. (transfer, Hofstra)
OUTLOOK: The Catamounts finished last in the SoCon in total offense last season and seventh in total defense. Highlighting the offense is 2009 SoCon Freshman of the Year Michael Johnson at running back. Zach Jaynes returns as the starting quarterback along with five of his top six targets from 2009. The defense returns only five starters and will find it challenging to improve this year. The team enters its third year in head coach Dennis Wagner's system. The team actually took a step back last year in Wagner's second season. After improving the team by two wins in his first season, the team dropped an additional game in 2009, finishing at 2-9. It is difficult to predict in which direction Wagner will guide the Catamounts this year, but even a positive jump will likely leave them in the SoCon cellar.
By Andrew Gaddess, FCS Contributing Editor